The 2017 Counselors Symposium was what I needed, at that time, to push through with my chosen career. I am a school Guidance Counselor by profession, and I thought I was ready to face angsty teenagers right after I got my certification in 2017. But I was not emotionally prepared for what came to be the first month I was on duty. I met Melinda. She is sixteen years old, and she told me that she was pregnant. And that she did not want her baby.
The 2018 Ohio Counselors Conference had a 3-day convention emphasizing the importance of counseling in a variety of issues we are facing today. As mental health issues became more prevalent, the prevention of stigma on counseling needs promotion. But how can we overcome the stigma of counseling and allow ourselves to acknowledge that we might need help from coping with our struggles without the fear of being shamed?
Counseling is a beneficial tool that can provide people with coping skills and a safe place to process their emotions and feelings. Despite all the efforts to end the shaming on seeking mental health support by promoting its benefits, there is still a stigma that deters people from giving counseling a try. This stigma, however, shouldn’t stop you from prioritizing your health and find ways to attain clarity in your life. No one should stop you from being happy. Here are some ways to help you overcome the stigma of seeking counseling.
Understand that seeking help is a sign of strength
People don’t always admit that they’re struggling. It’s a culture that we must end because it will only hurt us in the long run. All people need help, and seeking a way to find a solution to your distress is a courageous thing to do. It would be best if you were congratulating yourself for finally having the strength to address your problems.
If you have depression and other mental health disorders, you must silence the stigma of seeking help that surrounds you. As with a man who acquired a leg injury, he would go to a doctor, wouldn’t he?
You are not “crazy.”
The stereotypes placed on people with mental illness by popular culture limits people to understand what counseling is. Counseling is a process that includes reflection, exploring choices, and finding ways to cope with mental or emotional stressors. You are not crazy for seeking contentment and happiness in your life. Everyone’s journey is different, so is yours; you’re not “crazy” for trying a different route.
Know that you are not alone.
Isolating yourself because you think you’re the only one going through the problem you’re facing is harmful and is untrue. Many people are hesitant to discuss their struggles, but it is common to seek professional help. Everyone goes through something at some point. So, do know that you’re not alone in your fight.
Most of the time it’s difficult to admit that you and your partner don’t have a perfect relationship. It is a constant work in progress, since every person varies and responds differently to situations. If you’re a couple in distress, lacking in intimacy, or considering separation, marriage counseling may be able to help address the issues in your relationship.
It used to be every 12 hours. After a few years, it became once a week. Add some kids in the bedroom and a busy day schedule, our sexual intimacy was limited to once a month. After that, I refused to count. I don’t know if it’s because we’re getting old, he has meds to take, I am a depressed individual or all of the factors combined. It seemed impossible that the once sexually eager couple like us became too cold. Is it because of life? Or is it because I lost touch with my sexuality and he feels I’m not that good in bed?
Sex plays a vital role in every intimate relationship. It is a human’s way of expressing their affection to a significant other and is an act that leads to procreation. Both parties should enjoy sex and it should also be fun and satisfying.
However, fun and games in the bedroom aren’t always the case for all. In fact, many couples experience sexual dryness and dissatisfaction. Several factors correlate to this, and it is very alarming since this can lead to relationship trouble or even separation.
The question is: How do I know that I do not sexually satisfy my partner? Here are the signs.
You’re Too Insecure About Your Body
If you are too conscious about your body, your focus on your partner will waver. Being so aware of how your body looks for your partner or how you will look in a specific position will get your mind off the intercourse which will then decrease the satisfaction level of the other.
You Don’t Know How To Get Yourself Off
A significant part of sex has a lot to do with body exploration. If you are not doing it with passion, your partner will notice it, and your insecurities will kick in.
You’re Not Hygienic When It Comes To Your Private Parts
If you seldom wash your armpits and other prone-to-smell body parts, chances are you’ll turn your partner’s sexual urge off. Once he detects an annoying smell on you, it will take his mind off the sexual activity and turn him off.
You Use The Same Move Every Single Time
Sex should always be exciting and full of pleasure. Treat it is an adventure, not an obligation or a chore. If you only know one trick and have been using it ever since, it will bore your partner.
You Never Talk About Sex
Communication should work hand-in-hand with sex when it comes to intimate relationships. If both of you are not open to talking about what you want from each other, then you will have a difficult time finding ways on how to get your partner on fire.
You Try To Mimic Adult Films Way Too Often
Sex you see in adult films are orchestrated and choreographed for the audience, so don’t expect that you can duplicate it and get the same thing. You’ll only end up frustrated and unsatisfied.
I feel the need to make another blog about this topic. It will be published shortly after this part one, and it will cover six more signs. But you know what, years of therapy made me realize that it’s not just about me. It’s about us, as a couple. Sex is supposed to be natural, and there are no standards to that. It’s an expression of your lust, commitment, longing, thirst, and love for your partner. Anyway, with professional help, you can stop overthinking and start feeling good about yourself amidst this issue.
According to studies, women are more likely not to experience orgasm during sexual intercourse. This condition is not considered an abnormality since women have different body compositions compared to men, who tend to be very sexual.
Here are some factors that can affect orgasm in women.
Critical Thought Toward One’s Body
Women have this tendency to be too demanding of themselves – their body image in particular. Social norms and even how parents raise their daughters may have influenced this. We always find something wrong with our bodies, which can make way for insecurities and issues in self-confidence. And this doesn’t help in achieving maximum sexual pleasure during the intercourse.
Seeing Sex As Something Morally Wrong
Most of the time, women exposed to distorted perceptions about sex can impact their views on sex. In fact, this can be taken from the community where she grew up and from her parents. Sex, especially for more conservative people, is considered dirty and a sin which can affect a woman’s view. The tendency is, sex has become an obligation to fulfill for their husbands’ desires instead of an act of self-pleasure and joy.
Guilt Over Severing The Connection With A Mother Who Was Sexually Repressed
A woman, no matter how old they become, is always a mother’s little girl. In fact, from physical features to philosophies in life, a daughter usually takes after her mother. So if the mother has a negative attitude towards sex, the child adopts it and suppresses herself from enjoying it to the fullest.
Fear Of Awaking Hidden Sadness
Women who experience emotional pain during their childhood will have higher chances of not enjoying intimacy during sex. Women who suffer from such in their past cut any emotional attachments in time of the intercourse disallowing them to experience the fullest essence of sex.
Fear Of Vulnerability
Emotional pain due to a broken intimate relationship can hold a woman from experiencing the joy brought by sex. Because of that experience, women tend to withdraw, avoid and even refuse emotional attachments with other individuals. And since sex has to do with emotions, women with this problem cannot break through the wall they built themselves, disabling them to experience climax during sex.
Fear Of Remembering Memories of Abuse And Trauma
Women who experienced abuse and trauma in the past have very slim chances of experiencing orgasm during intercourse. Being in contact with another person may open or bring in old memories of the abuse which will make the woman utterly uncomfortable during the whole intercourse. Situations like these will prevent her from experiencing the pleasures sex can bring.
Fear Of Lack of Control
Women who are always in control or command usually experience difficulties regarding intimacy. They have this notion that once they gave in to the affection bought in by sex, they would lose control of themselves, refraining them from experiencing the maximum level of sexual pleasure.
These are just some of the many factors that can hinder women from experiencing the ultimate pleasure of sex. However, these can be overcome with the help of their respective partners or by getting professional help.
Don’t worry about therapists or counselors. They are professional people who will help you address these problems. You can even try online therapy for anonymity if traditional counseling makes you uncomfortable. Eventually, with treatment, you will get over these factors that affect your carnal pleasures.
We’ve all heard the saying before “be comfortable in your own skin” and this seems to be something we all aspire to, but what does it actually mean? Generally, this refers to having high self-esteem. Confidence can be communicated to others through our body language, what we do and how we talk to other people. If you have low self-esteem, then it can impact all of these things which in turn can have a negative impact on our lives. If someone is experiencing low self-esteem, they might feel as though they “can’t do anything right”, struggle to find the motivation to do things, feel inferior to others, are shy and reluctant to start conversations or have a hard time starting and maintaining relationships.
There are many reasons why couples go for online marriage counseling compared to the traditional approach. The internet has provided people with ease and convenience from social media communication, to shopping, and yes, even online counseling. With just a click of a button, a couple can have the opportunity to resolve their issues and maybe, just maybe, save their marriage.
Relationships are never static. There are ups and downs through the life of each relationship. We all know there are times when our partner is our favorite person in the world and there are other times where they are certainly one of our least favorites! Often, these are the times when people tend to turn to relationship counseling (when things have taken a turn for the worse). This is certainly what seems to be depicted on television and in the movies; the typical married couple, maybe around the seven-year-itch time, yelling at each other on a couch as a therapist nods along sympathetically. However, please don’t let this taint your view of relationship counseling as this is not what you should expect. You might be surprised to know though that there are a number of ways relationship counseling can help in addition to the usual “damage control” that is often most commonly expected. Continue reading “How Counseling Can Save Your Relationship”
“Bipolar disorder suffers from this history of being seen as an über-biologically driven disorder, with the assumption likewise that the treatment has to be biologically driven,” says Boston University psychologist Michael Otto, PhD, who specializes in the treatment of mood disorders. “It’s time we undo that history.”
Below are mood stabilizers which are found to be very useful in maintaining the remission and stabilizing the symptoms of bipolar disorder:
Lithium is used to “calm down” people with bipolar disorder. This drug takes effect around 10 to 14 days and eventually, the manic symptoms would subside. For the indications to diminish totally, it will take six weeks to see the results.
As for its efficiency, around 50 percent of the patients who opted to take a Lithium-based drug has significantly improved during manic and depressive episodes. The other half have adjusted as well, but they also had to drink other medications. Lithium was first used in the United States to combat the tiring indicators of bipolar disorder.
“The first line of intervention for bipolar disorder is medication,” says Simon Rego, PsyD, chief psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center and associate professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. So for people taking lithium, they have to visit their doctor to do a blood check regularly. It’s for safety reasons, just to see that there is nothing wrong with your body while on the drug. This check-up is also very important to monitor the kidneys and other renal organs. The medication may have an effect on the said organs.
Valproate or Valproic (Depakote)
This medication is for people suffering from depression, mental retardation, substance abuse and post-traumatic stress. Valproate or Valproic usually takes seven to fourteen days before it affects the person’s system. The US Food and Drug Administration approved the distribution and use of this medication. In fact, it was highly recommended as the cure for mania disorder and issues.
Carbamazepine doesn’t have FDA approval, but medical professionals and mental health experts have been prescribing it to patients with bipolar conditions. This recommendation was backed up by extensive research and studies. It is found to be very active since a minimum of 43% up to a maximum of 63% of the people who took it gets relieved from severe symptoms. However, this would also depend on the severity of the person’s disorder.
Gabapentin is a helpful medication for those with seizures. However, it is not applicable to people with mania problems. There are personal statements which claim that Gabapentin will NOT work on those with substantial bipolar issues. Users and medical experts say that use of the said medication is quite disappointing. However, it was adequate for less severe bipolar cases. This drug is best for adults, but not for children.
This medication is best as an anti-seizure drug. It helps prevent epileptic attacks, migraines and other similar indications. It can also be used to treat bipolar disorder. The most evident effect of the said medicine aside from treating seizures are weight loss and improved psychosocial health.
Oxcarbazepine is good for bipolar disorder. It is perceived to be a possible anti-manic substance, but more research and studies on the medicine are required. This medication may not have a positive result if there is another drug taken with it. Another good thing about Oxcarbazepine is that it has no significant impact on a person’s white blood cells and liver.
Lamictal, as a treatment for conditions like epilepsy, works wonders. Though the said drug has no FDA approval as a treatment for manic and depression issues, still it was found to be very useful for people with bipolar disorder. Studies on its efficiency are still ongoing at the moment.
“The holidays can be very hard for people with bipolar disorder,” says Raymond L. Crowel, PsyD, vice president for mental health and substance abuse services at the National Mental Health Association. While the drugs are highly suggested by medical experts, those who pursue the natural way of treatment (and if possible without drugs) push the psychiatry care approach. People with bipolar disorder can very well cope and improve through psychotherapy. Use it to assist intake of these drugs to speed up the healing process.
Suicidal Thoughts – A Silent Evil
Suicidal thoughts are terrifying to the core, and this silent evil is plaguing some people in this world. These individuals believe that their lives are meaningless, hopeless, useless, helpless, and worthless. In their minds, no one will care for them and that no one loves them. They just wish to die than to feel this type of emptiness combined with anger, guilt, extreme sadness, and self-loathe. It is their only way out.
Reasons Why Some People Have Suicidal Thoughts
In most cases, the main reason why people think that suicide is the answer to their problem is that of their family issues. A close second is their issues with finances or money. Would you believe that people also contemplate of killing themselves because of work-related problems? There are many other factors as to why some individuals think of suicide, but these three mentioned are the most common.
For them, life is worth living if you have a perfect family, lots of money, and the ultimate profession or career. They cannot see that life is all about a balance of things, working around the obstacles, and acceptance of what you have and what you lack. If you want something, with effort and perseverance, you can improve on it, correct? Well, people with suicidal thought can’t think that way.
While some people succeed in the three things mentioned, there are some who just can’t fathom the concept of losing a family member or having a broken family, living with limited funds, and not having the job they think they deserve. They would instead end their life than to be deficient in these life areas. Of course, these issues are pushed to the surface by mental health concerns like depression, stress, and anxiety. People with psychological disorders are more likely to think of suicide.
What’s more shocking is that some people think of dying for very shallow factors – rejected love, debts, family fights and the likes. “I didn’t realize just how painful it would be,” says Laura Sobik, PhD, now a psychologist at James Madison University’s counseling and student development center. You know, these issues have positive solutions and repairable. Suicide should never be an option, even for life-altering reasons.
Self-Help: Preventing Suicidal Thoughts And The Importance Of Counseling
“We have more than 100 studies from around the world now that demonstrate how media reports on suicide impact the risk of contagion,” said Daniel Reidenberg, PsyD. For people who have suicidal thoughts, the first option is to get professional help. Call a suicide hotline which is operated by your country if you or a loved, one is contemplating self-harm and suicide. Appropriate support and therapy are available for you immediately, especially if you have an underlying mental health disorder.
Nonetheless, there are also things you can perform at home which will reduce your suicidal thoughts. Being in this situation can be exhausting and confusing, but these tips might help you wash away the issues you are facing at the moment. It can give you enough time to call for help:
- Be self-aware and use your sense of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch to distract you from your bad thoughts. Explore it whenever you feel like those contemplations are creeping up on you.
Look at beautiful things in life like art, flowers, the sky, the ocean or beach and whatever can make you feel better. Watching a movie can also help divert you from the thought.
Reach for your cologne, perfume, scented soap or aromatherapy oils and smell it. Listen to your favorite music band while you eat your favorite food. If you like pasta, then, eat pasta. Opt for a massage, go for a mani-pedi, wear silk clothing, and the likes to awaken your sense of touch. These little things will help you with your issues.
- Stay away from pills, illegal drugs, hard drinks, beer, and wine. Just don’t consume any of it.
- Practice these mantras:
I can get through this for I am strong.
Everything will get better.
My hormones are acting up again, and I can control it.
An hour from now, I will look back on this and say – Hey, I’ve conquered you.
Suicide is never an option.
- Journalize your thoughts and take baby steps in healing. You don’t have to rush in “fixing” yourself. Take it one day at a time, with your mantras in mind.
“unable to see beyond their acute and immediate struggles, which may be related to being victimized by a bully, being a survivor of sexual assault or violence, being uncertain about their sexual orientation, or medical and/or psychological disorders,” said Krystle Herbert, LMFT, PsyD.
- Ask for help. Help means moral support and assistance from your family and friend. It also implies therapy and counseling. Talk to people who will understand. Reach out to those who love you. Confide in experts like mental health counselors and suicidal ideation therapists. You will only get better and move on if you are under a therapy and treatment program like Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.